Deacons/Pastors?

By Robert Schmidt                At its recent convention, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod resolved to deal with the question of licensed deacons. The President is to create a task force to develop a plan “to resolve questions about individuals who are not rightly called (prepared, examined, called and ordained) serving congregations of The Lutheran…
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Banks’ Reenvisioning Theological Education (Review Article)

By Nolan Bremer Banks, Robert. Reenvisioning Theological Education: Exploring a Missional Alternative to Current Models. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999.           By “missional” Banks means that the focus of theological education should be outside the classroom. But before elaborating on his vision of this missional alternative, Banks reviews the current scene in theological education and finds…
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Neurobiology of Gender

By Robert Sylwester Dr. Robert Sylwester is professor emeritus of education, University of Oregon. He has published numerous articles on the subject of how new developments in science and technology impact education and is the author of 20 books and curricular programs. His most recent books are A Biological Brain in a Cultural Classroom (2003) and How…
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A Waltherian Moment

By Robert Schmidt The last gavel has been struck.  The Synodical convention is over.  A district president was overheard saying that it was the most peaceful convention he had attended.  In an interview with the Lutheran Witness, President Harrison remarked, “I think the biggest thing accomplished, number one, was really to have a convention that was civil and positive….
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The Remnant

By Robert Schmidt The election of Matt Harrison and his conservative comrades have left LCMS moderates concerned about the future of the Synod and their place in it. Conversations are resuming with the Wisconsin Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Opposition to gay marriage and clergy are put forward as defining issues for the church…
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On the Liberty of the Christian

By Robert Schmidt When Luther wrote his treatise in 1520, On the Liberty of the Christian Man, it was accepted by friend and foe alike.  Here was little of the thunder and polemic found in the Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, or The Babylonian Captivity of the Church.  Instead there breathed in it the quiet of the…
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Naming the Devils

By Robert Schmidt Tho’ devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us We tremble not, we fear no ill, they shall not overpower us. This world’s prince may still, scowl fierce as he will, He can harm us none, He judged; the deed is done; One little word can fell him.  …
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Ministry of All the Baptized… and Some of the Unbaptized

By Robert Schmidt What is the best preparation for understanding and communicating the Gospel to people of another culture? For the most part missionaries and church leaders have relied upon seminary education. As soon as congregations are planted, efforts are made for the education of the native clergy to serve the fledgling congregations and make…
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Future of Theology

The Future of Theology By Robert Schmidt Wither theology?  One looks in vain for a current Barth, Brunner, Tillich, or Niebuhr. Yes, there is Pannenberg, and John Douglas Hall is worth noting.  Yet, when a presidential candidate accuses another of “bad theology,” one asks, “by what criteria?” Is it the Bible or is it politics choosing selected…
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The Colossian Mission Model

By Robert Schmidt Ninety-four new congregations joined the Missouri Synod in 2003. Of these, sixty-two were made up of non-white ethnic groups. I have had the privilege of working with one of these new congregations. It started about five years ago among some dedicated Oromo people from central and southern Ethiopia. Seven immigrants met in…
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